Dental examinations, to include sedation, cleaning, polishing, probing, and dental radiography are recommended annually. Removal of supra gingival (visible) calculus is only a minor aspect of the procedure. Removal of subgingival plaque and calculus is actually more important, as this is where the disease process originates. After probing each tooth, dental radiography completes this process by assessing all roots and bone under the gumline.
She received an annual cleaning around a year ago at her family veterinarian’s hospital. Today, there is Stage 4 periodontal disease (>50% bone loss) on the maxillary and mandibular incisors. In addition, there is an embedded right maxillary 3rd incisor (circled purple in 2nd image). The visible right 3rd incisor is a primary tooth (puppy). The sneezing was due to the fact the embedded incisor was in the nasal canal, causing chronic pathology.
All incisors were extracted, and the embedded incisor was surgically removed and the area curetted to remove any early dentigerous cyst lining. The chronic sneezing stopped and the owner is very happy.
Take home messages:
- Probe, Probe, Probe The bone loss should have been noted on probing by the technician and DVM
- Dental radiography is a MUST for every practice.
- The periodontal disease should have been identified much earlier in life and possibly controlled with more frequent ATP’s and an aggressive home care regimen.
- If a tooth looks odd (puppy tooth), check to make sure no adult counterpart is embedded
Barden Greenfield, DVM Diplomate, AVDC Your Pet Dentist of Memphis and Little Rock